Facebook, over the past several years, has been criticized for destroying marriages, careers, invading our privacy and a barrage of other social ills. These types of social dysfunction, frankly, have been around before two Ivy League students created Facebook. It has become the new scapegoat for our own moral downfalls. This is not the first time that a new phenomenon has been blamed as the weapon to destroy the pure ethical and moral attitudes in America we proclaim exists in our denial ridden, wannabee country. The moral destroying agents associated with Facebook was also thought of about Rock and Roll (Elvis Presley), Hip Hop (Rap), and cable TV. These are just a few examples of new misunderstood and un-controlled, mind manipulative media that has been villainized in the last 50 years. What value does Facebook have in our lives?
In a letter to Bill W., Dr. Carl Jung wrote,” I am strongly convinced that the evil principle prevailing in this world leads the unrecognized spiritual need into perdition, if it is not counteracted either by real religious insight or by the protective wall of human community. An ordinary man, not protected by an action from above and isolated in society, cannot resist the power of evil, which is called very aptly the Devil.” Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology. Dr. Jung for many years believed we have two personalities. One introverted and the other extroverted. The introvert and the extrovert are the main components of personality according to Jung. The introvert is quiet, withdrawn and interested in ideas rather than people. While the extrovert is outgoing and socially oriented. For Jung, a person that had a healthy personality could realize these opposite tendencies within himself/herself and could express each. His work has inspired many of the greatest psychologists in religion and literature.
Modern technology has allowed us to work harder, meet new people remotely, conduct of our banking needs, send mail, fulfill some of our secret passions and even earn a degree all online with no social interaction. Ten years ago most of these tasks were performed outside the home and included interaction with people and continued development of our extroverted personality. The world has become more introverted and the ability to block out the world has become easier. I can walk around downtown with my ipod blaring sounds of Z-RO (southern rap star) or Anthony Hamilton (R&B Singer) silencing outside noise and stimuli from the world. This type of behavior can occur quite easily and without intention. It becomes easier to stay at home in your jeans and sweats with a cold drink and bypass all of the deviants that wait outside the comfort and safety of your home.
Initially, Facebook was a tool that allowed me to find old friends, stay connected with current friends, and observe how people were living their lives. I eventually became a member of a private group on Facebook, which consisted of about 30 to 40 people. The people in this group have become friends and confidants. During times of sorrow, confusion and despair we encourage and advise each other on different paths to restore our balance in life. Dr. Jung wrote about the need for a community type atmosphere for our development and maintenance as human beings. Absence of a community and spiritual life leaves us defenseless against life and its moral ills that only depletes our energy and spirit. Once depleted, it can quickly lead to depression, addiction, and more intense deviations from or own acceptable behavior. This group of small loving people has become an extended family without the judgmental attitudes that are entangled with our biological family. This family is a family of choice, which some call friends!
The small private group on Facebook is meeting a need that is in synergy with my fast paced life. It allows me the ability to supplement my interaction with others without leaving my home. The feeling of being isolated and alone in this tumultuous world subsides because of my spiritual belief and my small community of friends I have on Facebook. The experience of watching people turn to the group for support and advice has been more satisfying then I could have ever imagined. The words, ‘protective wall of the community’, used by Jung correctly describes the feeling and attitude I have experienced from my extended family. It certainly gives me a feeling of ease and comfort knowing that I am not defenseless and if needed, have a support system in place for those seemingly rough times.
My experience on Facebook has been a positive one. Facebook has not made me conduct myself in any form or fashion that has not been in conjunction with my faith and belief system. To believe that Facebook is the lithium that has energized others to conduct themselves in a way that they have never acted before is a farce!